Meet The Team
Matthew Hicks, ND, MS
Matthew is the founder of Synaptic Institute, a naturopathic physician specializing in integrative mental health, the host of the Integrative Psychiatry Review podcast, and a facilitator of psychedelic therapy. He also holds a degree in medical research and has authored peer-reviewed papers on empathy, mindfulness, and psychedelic topics.
Olivia Giguere, ND
Olivia is a naturopathic physician specializing in holistic mental health care using psychedelic assisted therapy, somatic techniques, and psychospiritual herbalism. She serves as clinic director and manages student and faculty support at Synaptic Institute.
Greg Robillard, MA, LMFT
Greg is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice and adjunct faculty at Lewis and Clark Graduate School. He works primarily with trauma, using EMDR, Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy, and mindfulness modalities. He serves as secretary of the board of directors of Synaptic, and teaches our setting and diagnosis courses.
Tahlia Harrison, MS, MFTA
Tahlia is a Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who provides supportive, trauma-informed individual and relational therapy. She also completed a Master of Science in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke University and is currently a PhD candidate under the mentorship of Monnica Willaims. She serves as treasurer of the board of directors for Synaptic and oversees our ethics and equity curriculum.
Emma Knighton, MA, LMHC
Emma Knighton, MA, LMHC, is a white, queer, able-bodied femme. She is a somatic trauma therapist, psychedelic integration therapist, embodied organizer, and conscious leader. In their clinical work, Emma works at the intersection of complex PTSD from childhood abuse, queer identity development, and consciousness exploration. Her clinical and leadership approach is grounded in queer, consent, feminist, and anti-oppression/pro-liberation theories. Emma teaches courses on integrating trauma-informed consent practices into psychedelic-assisted therapy and strives to be in service to the psychedelic space with integrated mind, body, spirit, and community. Emma is the co-founder and co-Executive Director of the American Psychedelic Practitioners Association, where she is focused on community building, systems healing, and empowering through education and shared resources. Emma holds a master's in counseling psychology from Bastyr University, a Certificate in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy and Research from CIIS, and a master’s level Certificate in Holistic Health from St. Catherine University. A lifelong learner, she is in sacred relationship with their ancestors, tree elders, plant teachers, and the collective consciousness.
Sunil Aggarwal, MD, Ph.D., FAAPMR
Sunil is a Board-Certified Physician in Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as a Medical Geographer and serves as the Past Chair of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Integrative Medicine Special Interest Group as well as an inaugural member of AAHPM’s Safe Use in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies Forum.
Peter Addy, PhD
Peter has studied psychedelic substances and states and consciousness for 15 years. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology studying transpersonal psychology. Dr. Addy has presented internationally on a variety of subjects related to spirituality and transpersonal states, psychedelic science, and research methodology. He is currently a psychotherapist in private practice in Washington and Oregon.
Firstman is a co-founder of the Rastafari Indigenous Village in Jamaica where he is a ceremony guide for ganja and mushrooms, an advocate against discrimination of indigenous people and plant medicine, and a chanter and facilitator for spiritual gatherings and movements.
Jarrod Franklin, ND, MS
Jarrod is a naturopathic physician, holistic nutritionist, and Ayurvedic practitioner. His passions for holistic care have led him in becoming a food security advocate, therapeutic chef, inquirer of the theosophical, and student in Synaptic’s psychedelic therapy facilitator training. Besides holistic health delivery, he enjoys board gaming, dancing, travel planning, and getting creative with botanical medicines.
Leanna Standish, ND, PhD
Co-founder of AIMS Institute, naturopathic doctor, and neuroscientist, Leanna is also conducting a phase 1 trial of ayahuasca.
Alison Draisin, PsyD
Alison Draisin is the founder and CEO of Ettalew’s Edibles, past President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Cannabis and Social Policy (CASP), and an original member of Women of Weed. As an active member of the Washington State cannabis community, she speaks publicly on cannabis education locally and internationally.
Ashley Collins & Erik Blender
Ashley Collins is an Integration Counselor, Psychedelic Facilitator and Meditation Guide who has worked with healing, transformation and integration methods for the past ten years.
Erik Blender is a teacher of Yoga & Meditation, a Psychedelic Facilitator, and a musician/sound healer dedicated to connecting people to practices that awaken the mind, body and spirit.
Ian Leupker, ND
Dr. Ian Luepker is a naturopathic physician licensed in Oregon. He has been in private practice for 20 years and worked on psychiatric units for 12 years. He approaches health and well-being from a holistic perspective by recognizing the complex interplay between mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual suffering.
Christine Calvert is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a certified Holotropic Breathwork® facilitator. She is a module facilitator and teacher for Grof Transpersonal Training both in the US and internationally. In addition to bringing Holotropic Breathwork® and other experiential workshops to mental health and addiction facilities, she is passionate about the ethics and integrity needed in facilitating expanded-state work.
Sara Sentell, ND, L.Ac
Sara is a Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon, and co-founder of The Ren Clinic which offers trauma-informed integrative medicine. Her clinical training began in Social Work and this has heavily influenced her whole-systems approach to investigating the roots and branches of health and wellness.
Erin Johnson M.A.
Erin is a student of medicine work since 2009 and has been working with altered states for over 16 years. He received a Masters in Transpersonal and Somatic Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in 2007 and has maintained a private practice working with various forms of trauma and integration methods for the past 10 years.
Dr Amelia Hall gained her doctorate in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies from the University of Oxford, in 2012. Her dissertation was a translation of the sacred biography of a twentieth century Tibetan treasure revealer. She has taught and developed courses on Buddhism at Central Michigan University and Antioch University (Buddhist Studies Abroad Program). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Buddhism and Department Chair in the Wisdom Traditions department at Naropa University. She teaches across several different degree programs at Naropa including BA Religious Studies, MA Yoga Studies, MA Contemplative Religions, and Master of Divinity. She is a faculty and curriculum advisor for Naropa’s Center for Psychedelic Studies, working on the development of certificate and degree programs. Her current research and translation work considers ritual texts exploring the impact of traditional ecological knowledge on perceptions of climate change and landscape transformation in the Himalayas.